The Medieval Studies Program was founded as an interdisciplinary minor in the former College of Arts and Sciences (now the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences) by the late Julian Wasserman, a holder of a Provost Distinguished Professorship and a teacher of medieval literature in the Department of English at Loyola. From the beginning, however, medieval studies at Loyola have always been as much of a presence outside undergraduate classrooms as within their walls. Professor Wasserman sought to bring the Middle Ages to life for willing students in a variety of settings, including the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, Lusher Elementary School, and a Summer Teachers Institute sponsored by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.
The recent arrival of several medievalists in a number of departments across the University introduced a new phase in the development of the Program, with the creation of new courses, the implementation of a revised curriculum, the institution of the Venerable Bede Award to recognize the outstanding achievements of Medieval Studies students, and, most recently, the inauguration of two new extracurricular activities: Pizza and Movie Nights and the New Orleans Medieval Scholars' Discussion Group. And the Program continues to grow and develop in exciting new directions.